Marcel Schrötter shines with P1 in rainy Portimao
Despite heavy rain, the start to the weekend went just perfect for the LIQUI MOLY Intact GP team, whose rider Marcel Schrötter set the bar now to be beaten in FP2, while Jeremy Alcoba goes into Saturday's qualifying session with a good feeling despite his P21 finish.
When the famous rollercoaster track turns into Portimao's waterslide, the risk of a crash at 12°C asphalt temperature has to be weighed up. However, the decision to sit out FP1 on the 4.6km circuit on Portugal's Atlantic coast due to persistent rain did not prove wrong for the two LIQUI MOLY Intact GP riders in their setup work.
Thanks to his several years of experience, Marcel Schrötter in particular was a relaxed spectator during the tricky FP1. The wet and cold conditions would have provided the 29-year-old and his crew with little helpful information. That FP2 would take place under similarly difficult conditions, could not be suspected at this point. But even though the German lacked track time from the morning, he made his way to the top of the timesheet lap by lap. His 2'00.678 was eventually 0.501s faster than those of his pursuers Jake Dixon and Cameron Beaubier, who was 0.713s behind.
Meanwhile, 21st place does not reflect the potential that 20-year-old Jeremy Alcoba felt on his Kalex despite the adverse conditions. The rookie carefully completed the 40-minute FP1 session, in which he tacked on third-fastest Beaubier. A small crash and a deleted lap time due to yellow flags did their part in the overall result of day 1 in Portugal. According to his own statements, his feeling is good and so the young Spaniard is looking forward to attacking again on Saturday on one of his favourite tracks.
The current weather forecasts promise dry conditions - will the field reshuffle, or can Marcel Schrötter enter Saturday afternoon's qualifying as the leader and can youngster Alcoba follow up his positive feeling with a Q2 start? We'll have the answers from 11:55 a.m. (CEST).
1. Zonta VAN DEN GOORBERGH/ NED/ KALEX – 2'04.519
2. Alessandro ZACCONE/ ITA/ KALEX – (+1.457)
3. Niccolò ANTONELLI/ ITA/ KALEX – (+1.538)
Marcel SCHRÖTTER/ GER/ KALEX – NOT CLASSIFIED
Jeremy ALCOBA/ SPA/ KALEX – NOT CLASSIFIED
1. Marcel SCHRÖTTER/ GER/ KALEX – 2'00.678
2. Jake DIXON/ GBR/ KALEX – (+0.501)
3. Cameron BEAUBIER/ USA/ KALEX – (+0.713)
21. Jeremy ALCOBA/ SPA/ KALEX – (+3.871)